Duck Broth (or Chicken)

P1040954

 

This the duck that keeps on giving. It began as a roast duck, then was turned into this broth which was used to make a delicious mushroom and duck risotto, as well as a tomato soup. You could substitute chicken to make this if you don’t happen to have duck.

This recipe is as simple as putting everything in a pot to simmer for a number of hours, then giving it time to cool before refrigerating it.

Thanks again Tony, the Accidental Agrarian, for the duck!

What you need:

  • 1 duck or chicken carcass
  • 1 onion, cut in half
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 or 2 carrots
  • 1 knob of ginger, sliced
  • a few cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 2 pieces of star anise
  • a bunch of parsley stems, if you have them

What you do:

  1. Put everything in a stock pot and cover with cold water. Bring it to a slow simmer and skim of any foam.
  2. Keep on a low simmer – just barely bubbling – for 3 to 4 hours, or more if you have the time.
  3. Strain off the liquid from the bones and vegetables and discard the solids. I use a fine sieve to do this, and line it with some cheesecloth if I want to keep all the fine bits out.
  4. Allow to cool to room temperature. I put the broth into canning jars and place them in a sink of cold water, changing the water when it gets warm. If it is cold enough outside I just put it out for the night.
  5. You can use it up or keep it for a few months in the freezer.

Roasted Butternut Soup with Apples and Bacon

Roasted Butternut Soup - trust in kim

Roasting the squash with apples and just one slice of bacon brings so much flavour to this soup. Mark Bittman wrote this recipe as a chowder, in which you leave everything whole, but I was really in the mood for a puréed soup. And it was lovely and velvety this way. I plan to try it again one day using different vegetables.

The cookbook this one came from is called The Food Matters Cookbook. I changed the recipe by using only one slice of bacon for flavour instead of four, omitting the oil because the bacon gave it some fat, and then I puréed it instead of leaving pieces whole.

To make this a vegan recipe you can easily omit the bacon and just drizzle the vegetables with a little olive oil before roasting.

It makes about 4 servings.

What you need:

  • 1 butternut squash, about 1 & 1/2 pounds
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 large apples, peeled and cored
  • 1 slice bacon, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1/2 cup white wine or water
  • 6 cups vegetable or chicken stock

What you do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Peel it with a vegetable peeler and cut it into cubes. Place the cubes on a deep roasting pan along with the onion, apples and garlic. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and put the bacon pieces over top of the vegetables. Roast, stirring a few times throughout the process, for about 45 minutes. At this time the apples should be tender and the bacon should be crisp.
  3. Take the roasting pan out of the oven and stir in the sage and wine, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Transfer everything to a large pot, unless your roasting pan can be put on the stove top. If so, continue the next step in the roasting pan over medium heat.
  4. Add the stock and cook until the squash begins to break up a little, about 25 minutes.
  5. Let the soup cool slightly before putting it into a blender in batches. Purée until it is very smooth, then return to the pot to reheat. Taste and adjust seasonings before servings.

This one is really good for leftovers too, but you might need to thin it out by adding a little stock, wine or water when reheating.

 

John’s Spicy Lentil Soup

lentil soup - trust in kim

lentil soup - trust in kim

 

My good friend John made this soup for me a while back. We both wanted to eat something pretty healthy and warming, and something that wouldn’t take too long to cook. Don’t be afraid of the word ‘spicy;’ it has a only hint of chill, but loads of flavour.

John’s recipe is vegan, using vegetable broth, but I used chicken broth and added some chicken pieces that I had left over. Both versions are super tasty. I also used less olive oil; the original recipe says 3 tablespoons and I used about one.

The recipe is from the Food Network.

What you need:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced lengthwise
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds (or ground if that’s what you have)
  • 1/2 cup green lentils
  • 1/2 cup red lentils
  • 1 small dried chili, crushed
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • leftover chicken, shredded or diced (optional)
  • salt
  • freshly cracked pepper
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

What you do:

  1. Drizzle the oil in a large pot and sauté the onion on medium heat until golden.
  2. Add the garlic and cumin and cook for 2-3 more minutes, until the garlic is golden.
  3. Add the stock, lentils, chili, carrots, celery, bay leaves and optional chicken to the pot and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes.
  4. Uncover and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the lentils are tender. Add the vinegar, then add salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy!

Thanks for the recipe John!

John Cloutier - trust in kim
Chef John

Cauliflower Leek Soup

cauliflower leek soup

Because of my ongoing quest for soup recipes, and because of my newly acquired blender I have been searching for more puréed soup recipes. The ingredients are really simple, so in my opinion the success of this recipe depends largely on using a quality broth. I used my homemade chicken stock, but you could use a flavourful vegetable one to make it a vegan recipe. I make up a big batch of stock, then freeze it in portions to use in future soup recipes. A bit of work to do ahead of time, but it’s really handy and makes better soups.

I found this recipe on freshtart.com, and I made two changes: I cut the amount of oil in half (1 tablespoon per portion is too much for me), and I didn’t serve it with the fried shrimp on top, although this sounds yummy.

Serves 4

What you need:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large leek, washed and thinly sliced
  • 2 heaping cups cauliflower florets
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 cups chicken broth (homemade is always best)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 generous handfuls of spinach
  • 2 tablespoons chives, minced
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • sea salt to taste

What you do:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, add the leek to it and sauté for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the cauliflower and garlic and sauté for 5 more minutes.
  3. Add the chicken broth and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the cauliflower is very soft. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Remove the bay leaf.
  4. Place the spinach and chives in the blender, then add the cauliflower and broth and purée until smooth. If the liquid is hot it will make a bit of an explosion, se be careful. You could purée on very low to start, then allow some steam to escape, and then continue until it is smooth.
  5. Add the lemon juice and salt to taste. Drizzle with a little olive oil to serve, and add some minced chives for garnish if you like.

Italian Wedding Soup

After a gorgeous summer of vacationing in very hot climates, I was a little shocked to come home to Vancouver’s fabulously moderate climate.  So shocked that in early September I had to make some soup to warm me up a little.  I started with a great homemade chicken stock, which makes all soups fabulous, then made up my version of Italian Wedding Soup.  I always thought it was called that because it was served at weddings, but I recently read that it is called that because greens and meat marry well together.  My version has turkey meatballs, because it seemed like a healthy thing to do.

Although I am lactose intolerant, I find the hard cheeses like parmesan aren’t too hard to tolerate, because they actually contain very little lactose.

What you need for the soup:

6-8 cups chicken stock

1 medium onion, chopped

olive oil

3 carrots, peeled and chopped into thin rounds

1 bay leaf

1/3 cup orzo pasta

1 bunch spinach, washed and roughly chopped

What you need for the meatballs:

400 grams ground turkey

2 tablespoon onion, finely diced

2 cloves garlic, finely diced

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/2 cup bread crumbs

2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped

salt and pepper

a pinch of nutmeg

1 egg

What you do:

1. Heat a little olive oil in a large pot on medium heat, then add the onion and cook it for a few minutes until it is softened.  Add the garlic and cook for another minute.  Add the carrot and cook for a minute or two.  Add the broth and the bay leaf.  Bring this to a boil – you will add the raw meatballs to this broth.

2. Combine all the meatball ingredients and mix them together a little with your hands – don’t over-mix.  Form the mixture into small meatballs with your hands, about a teaspoon or smaller in size.  Drop the meatballs into the soup as you make them, making sure you keep it on a low boil as you go. Once all the meatballs are in, allow the soup to cook for about 10 minutes.

3.  Add the orzo to the pot of boiling soup, stirring from time to time.

4.  When the orzo is cooked through, season the soup with salt and pepper to taste.  Now add the spinach and cook it briefly, until it wilts.

Buon appetito!

I had some of this soup for leftovers, and it was yummy, but the spinach wasn’t very green after the first serving.  If you plan to use it for leftovers, you might want to leave the spinach out, and add it when you reheat.

Fantastic Chicken Stew

In honour of the rare mid-April snowfall we experienced in Vancouver today, I’m posting this fabulous chicken stew recipe. It’s not too hard to make, and it’s full of flavour.  I’ve adapted a recipe for veal stew from a Western Living cookbook to make this.  Oh, and it’s so tasty if you use homemade stock – it’s pretty much vital to the flavour, so plan ahead and make some stock !

What you need:

2 tablespoons olive oil

4-6 chicken thighs, bone-in & skin removed

1 onion, chopped roughly

a cup or two of button mushrooms, halved

4 cloves garlic, finely diced

3 cups chicken stock

1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped finely

1 cup dry white wine

2 tablespoons  flour

5-6 small potatoes, chopped in half

4-5 carrots, cut into rounds

1 medium-sized zucchini, cut into rounds

salt and pepper to taste

What you do:

1. Heat a large pot to medium-high heat and add one tablespoon of olive oil, then add the onions. After about five minutes add the mushrooms.  Saute until browned, then remove from the pot.

2. Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the pot, then add the chicken and cook until browned on each side.  Add the garlic and cook for a few minutes. Add the chicken stock and cook, covered, for about 45 minutes.

3. Combine the wine and flour, then stir it into the pot. Add the potatoes, carrots, and sautéed mushrooms and onions. Bring it to a boil, then lower the heat, cover and cook for 20 minutes.

4. Add the zucchini and cook for about 15 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

I like to eat this all on its own, but it would be great served with a crusty bread.

Maple Butternut Squash Soup

The sun came out today and reminded me that I only have a little more time to make winter soups!  So here is a squash soup I’ve been meaning to post for a long time, one that I’ve been making for years.  The baked cauliflower topping, however, is a new addition, and I’m going to make it like this again.

I know that the sticker on your squash probably tells you that the easiest way to cook it is in the microwave.  This may be true, however, I find oven-baking it makes it taste sweeter, and it’s also more satisfying.  Also, you can cook the cauliflower while the squash is baking.

What you need:

1 medium-sized butternut squash

2 tablespoons butter (or olive oil)

2 stalks celery

1/2 large sweet onion (I cry less over sweet onions – you can use a regular one if you wish)

1 red or yellow sweet pepper

1/4 cup white wine (I used riesling)

1/4 teaspoon dry tarragon leaves, crumbled (1/2 teaspoon fresh)

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon cloves

3-4 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock

maple syrup to taste

salt to taste, unless your stock already has salt in it

1/4 cup dry sherry – optional but amazing!

1 cauliflower, an optional topping

What you do:

1.  Cut the squash in half, de-seed and lay on a baking sheet.  Bake at 400F for about 30 minutes or until it pierces easily with a knife.  At the same time you can cut the cauliflower into florets and bake for the same amount of time, until browned.

2.  Cook the onion, celery and pepper in butter for several minutes.  Add the spices, then the wine, and cook for a few more minutes.  Add half of the stock and cook for 10-15 minutes, until the vegetables are soft.

3.  When the squash is cooked, allow it to cool enough to be handled.  Puree it, along with a cup of the stock, then add it to the vegetables.

4.  Heat the soup through, then add the maple syrup, sherry, and salt to taste.

5.  Top with chopped roasted cauliflower to serve.